The More One Delves into the IRS Scandal, the Worse It Gets

Apparently, teaching the Constitution, being “worried about government spending, debt or taxes,” and wanting to “make America a better place to live” was sufficient to get one targeted by the IRS.

Consider the following recent comment from President Obama:

Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

In the context of the IRS scandal, how naïve does it seem to not maintain some form of healthy skepticism about the government? I don’t view government as “some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems.” But I don’t view it as a nest of angels and demigods either.

  1. DrewInWisconsin

    The rampant corruption we have in government — which has always been there, but never so pronounced as it is today — has so eroded the trust between the citizen and the state. The breach can’t be fixed with something as simple as a new administration (although that’s what it’s going to take to get things moving in the right direction). The continued lack of consequences for government officials who do wrong will destroy us more quickly than terrorist actions.

  2. DocJay

    I enjoyed watching how easily the president lied today.

    1) “I just heard about this Friday.”  Sure you did.

    2) “An IG will get to the bottom of this.”  Sure it will.

    3) “I have no tolerance or this.” Being discovered that is.  Your folks ordered it Barry

  3. RightTurn

    Before the 2008 election, a lifelong liberal and Chicagoan said to me words to the effect of, “I’m going to vote for Obama, but all this ‘hope and change’ stuff, give me a break. He’s a Chicago politician.” I wonder how many people are at last beginning to figure this out for themselves? 

  4. Pilli

    “Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”

    BHO uses “we” in the quote to imply that “these same voices” don’t trust we citizens who make up the electorate.  Actually, the “same voices” don’t trust the “we” who are members of the BHO administration.  And that is justified.

  5. Crow

    The Volokh piece Pejman cites above links to a Kevin Drum article at Mother Jones. I’m not at all convinced by this paragraph:

    The problem is that the explosion of 501(c)4 groups is a genuine problem: they really have grown like kudzu, lots of them really are used primarily as electioneering vehicles, and the IRS has been either unwilling or unable to regulate them properly. So the fact that some of the folks responsible for processing these applications were looking for a way to flag potentially dubious groups is sort of understandable.

    Tea Party groups may have sprung up quickly, Kevin, but various Progressive outlets in 2008 and 2012 raised record amounts of money for the Obama campaign, and you had better believe in that $1billion plus there was some illegitimately acquired funds under the IRC.

    But we see nothing from the IRS indicating that they paid anywhere near the scrutiny toward Progressive outlets as they did the Right.

    There’s simply no way to avoid the appearance of widescale impropriety here, and someone needs to be fired immediately for creating an atmosphere which is, at best, lackadaisical, and at worst, politically-motivated abuse of power.

  6. xrow GmbH

    Please forgive me! It’s just another Test…

  7. KC Mulville
    DocJay:

    2) “An IG will get to the bottom of this.” 

    Well, I hear that Thomas Pickering and Mike Mullen have some free time nowadays. Maybe they could help investigate the IRS like they investigated Benghazi?

  8. Crow

    Moreover, this paragraph from the Drum piece deserves to be called out:

    What’s really unfortunate about all this is that it will probably put an end to any scrutiny of 501(c)4 groups, and that’s a shame. The IRS should be scrutinizing them, and it should be doing it on an ongoing basis.

    The only reason any of this is necessary is because we’ve constructed a monstrosity of a campaign finance system and an obscenely complicated tax code. Shockingly, that does not further the cause of actual transparency or protect the good of the common voter.

    Furthermore, and equally unsurprisingly, under those conditions of high complexity, with minimal oversight and maximum discretion given to bureaucrats, we have not gotten highly professional and disinterested administrative whiz-kids.

    What we have gotten, more often then not, is a self-impressed and highly self-interested bureaucratic class that fancies itself above the law, is largely unaccountable given the discretion it wields, covers it own behind, and tends to vote (especially those who are unionized) for increased authority and increased benefits for itself.

  9. Garrett Petersen

    “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.  And they are, so there you go.”

    –James Madison (As interpreted by Barack Obama)

  10. Duane Oyen
    DocJay: I enjoyed watching how easily the president lied today.

    1) “I just heard about this Friday.”  Sure you did.

    2) “An IG will get to the bottom of this.”  Sure it will.

    3) “I have no tolerance or this.” Being discovered that is.  Your folks ordered it Barry · 15 minutes ago

    It’s getting pretty easy to tell when Obama is prevaricating.  As soon as he opens his mouth, there is an 80%  chance…..

  11. Percival
    KC Mulville

    DocJay:

    2) “An IG will get to the bottom of this.” 

    Well, I hear that Thomas Pickering and Mike Mullen have some free time nowadays. Maybe they could help investigate the IRS like they investigated Benghazi? · 22 minutes ago

    And interview witnesses with a mouthpiece for the government present?  Yeah, that will clear it up in no time.

  12. Bill Nelson

    Seriously, is anyone surprised? Any conservative or conservative group must live as open as possible, for everything and everyone you come in contact with may be wishing to “expose” you.

    There is no conspiracy, no one person at the top giving orders. Just like members of the media, “they” know that the “evil” conservatives must be defeated in any way possible.  You will be recorded, video taped, photographed. The machinary of the federal government is tuned to frustrate conservatives, and those who seek to “produce” something on their own. When was the last time someone on the left complained about a regulation?

    So accept it, and move on. Don’t waste time complaining about it. Keep your nose clean and records in order.

  13. Mike LaRoche

    In Soviet America, taxes pay YOU.

  14. x

    “some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems.”

    It may not be at the root of ALL our problems, but it’s unquestionably “separate and sinister.”

    And what’s with a president of the United States telling a bunch of college students that tyranny’s not lurking around the corner?

    OF COURSE IT IS.

    It always has been and it always will be.  Isn’t that the lesson of our entire national history?  Haven’t we been throwing off, defeating, defending against, evading and generally figuring out ways not to be subject to tyranny for 240 years?

    Isn’t our steadfast commitment to that precisely what makes America America?

  15. She

    Well, and isn’t this interesting? 

  16. Sisyphus

    As bad as this is, and it rocks the whole notion of having an income tax, the real dimensions of the corruption is far worse. Hot Air reports today on the systematic disclosure of privileged information from filings by Conservative groups to “Progressive” activists. (Yes, I am now putting scare quotes around that word wherever it arises, but I digress.) These disclosures have aided the ongoing campaign by “Progressives” to identify big donors to Conservative causes and target them for all manner of harassment. 

    Welcome to 21st Century America.

  17. Frozen Chosen

    Once again we see that government is a fire which will burn out of control if it is not watched very closely and kept to an absolute minimum.  How our fellow citizens can think of govt as some sort of benign presence in their lives is beyond me.

    Most of these same citizens voted to increase the power of the IRS via Obamacare by voting for Obama and various Dem senators and reps.  This total disconnect between perception and reality for most of the voting populace is why I despair for the future of our Republic.

    The government is NOT your friend, people! 

  18. Roberto
    Pejman Yousefzadeh: In the context of the IRS scandal, how naïve does it seem to not maintain some form of healthy skepticism about the government? I don’t view government as “some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems.” But I don’t view it as a nest of angels and demigods either. · · 2 hours ago

    This seems dangerously close to:

    “Criticiz(ing) how the country is being run.”

    Are you looking for an audit?
  19. Adrastus

    I hope government accountability is a major theme in the campaign of the next Republican candidate for president.  It’s not like he’ll have any lack of material to work with: this IRS scandal, Benghazi, Fast and Furious (and, of course, whatever absurdities Obamacare has wrought by then).